Every Kickstarter project should have the following:

Every Kickstarter project should have a creator handbook.

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Every Kickstarter project should have the following: by Mind Map: Every Kickstarter project should have the following:

1. Creator Handbook

1.1. Telling your story

1.1.1. A project page with a video and description that clearly explain the story behind your project

1.1.1.1. Who are you?

1.1.1.1.1. Introduce yourself, your team, and any similar work you’ve done (show some examples!).

1.1.1.2. What are you planning to make?

1.1.1.2.1. The more details, the better. Sketches, samples, prototypes — it all helps backers get as excited as you are.

1.1.1.3. Where did this project come from?

1.1.1.3.1. Tell people how you got the idea, and how much you’ve accomplished so far. Sharing the project’s history helps others understand the kind of work you do, and how you go about it.

1.1.1.4. What’s your plan, and what’s your schedule?

1.1.1.4.1. Lay out a clear, specific timeline for what backers can expect.

1.1.1.5. What’s your budget?

1.1.1.5.1. A simple breakdown lets people know you’ve thought things through and have a workable plan, so they can trust you to use funds wisely.

1.1.1.6. Why do you care?

1.1.1.6.1. Tell people why you’re passionate about your project and committed to making it happen.

1.2. Building rewards

1.2.1. Once you’ve decided on your rewards, you’ll find plenty of tools and options that let you organize them so they fit your schedule and budget.

1.2.1.1. What should you offer?

1.2.1.1.1. You know better than anyone what your community wants. Think of things that would get you to back a project. Offer copies of your work in different formats, from digital downloads to limited editions. Consider custom work and chances to be a part of the process. Need inspiration? Try this list we made of 96 reward ideas.

1.2.1.2. What should you not offer?

1.2.1.2.1. There are a few things we prohibit, including offering financial returns and reselling items from elsewhere.

1.2.1.3. How to price.

1.2.1.3.1. Be fair. When people think about backing your project, they’re asking themselves whether your rewards are a good trade for what they’re contributing. The most popular pledge on Kickstarter is $25 — it’s handy to offer something substantial around that level.

1.2.1.4. Offer a range of rewards.

1.2.1.4.1. Some backers can spare $100, some $20, some $5. Every one of those backers counts. Make sure there’s something worthwhile at every level — even simple $1 rewards. You’ll need to produce and deliver every reward, though, so think through each tier and make sure your budget works!

1.2.1.5. Updates that share the creative journey as the project comes to life

1.2.1.5.1. Itemize or limit your rewards.

1.2.1.5.2. Estimated delivery dates.

1.2.1.5.3. Shipping.

1.2.1.5.4. Don’t forget the survey tool!

1.2.1.5.5. Remember: once your project is live, you can add new rewards any time — but once someone has pledged to a reward tier, you can’t change it anymore.

1.3. Funding

1.3.1. Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If your project doesn’t reach its goal, then funds don’t get collected, and no money changes hands. This minimizes risk for creators — imagine ending up with only $5,000 and a bunch of people expecting a $50,000 film! All-or-nothing funding makes it easier for backers to pledge to your project with confidence that you’ll be able to get the job done.

1.3.1.1. Your funding goal should be the minimum amount you need to make what you promised and fulfill all rewards. The first step to setting that goal is figuring out a budget.

1.3.1.1.1. Make a list.

1.3.1.1.2. Consider your reach.

1.3.1.1.3. Give yourself a cushion.

1.3.1.1.4. Set a deadline.

1.3.1.1.5. Stretch goals.

1.3.1.1.6. And if your project suddenly explodes?

1.3.2. Your Tools

1.3.2.1. The creator dashboard.

1.3.2.1.1. Your project’s dashboard gives you an at-a-glance view of everything that’s happening: your funding progress, where visitors to your project page are coming from, a breakdown of which rewards backers are choosing — even a complete feed of all project activity.

1.3.2.2. The backer report.

1.3.2.2.1. Your backer report is where all information about your project’s backers will be neatly organized. Everything from the reward that they chose to any messages that you’ve exchanged will be documented here. And once you send out reward surveys, backers’ responses will ALSO be documented here. The report can easily be downloaded as a CSV file.

1.3.2.3. Analytics.

1.3.2.3.1. Google Analytics opens up a whole new world of trusted, powerful tools, from custom reports and dashboards to the ability to track how many visits to the project page are converting into pledges.

1.3.2.4. Kickstarter for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

1.3.2.4.1. The Kickstarter mobile app can help you manage communicating with backers whenever you want, wherever you are! Use it to send messages, post updates, and get at-a-glance looks at how your project is doing.

1.4. Promotion

1.4.1. How will you tell the world about your project? Promotion should be part of your Kickstarter campaign planning from the very beginning. Read on for tips on spreading the word about your idea and getting people as excited about your project as you are.

1.4.1.1. Make a list

1.4.1.1.1. While an exceptional project can find outpourings of support from all over the web, much of your support may still come from people who already know your work. Begin by making a list of everyone you plan to reach out to about your project. For example, think of the last 50 people you've emailed or texted—these are likely the people who'll support your project on day one. Collect email addresses, social media handles, and phone numbers in a single place. Next, segment your contacts into a few groups—think friends, family, fans, coworkers, and industry contacts—and draft specific messaging for each group. For example, frame your message to friends around specific reward tiers that you think might appeal to them and why.

1.4.1.2. Create a calendar

1.4.1.2.1. Think through your campaign holistically: How will you promote your project pre-launch, on day one, on week two, and beyond? Put together a week-by-week calendar to schedule emails, social media announcements, project updates, and more.

1.4.2. Before you launch, prep an outreach plan

1.4.2.1. Early on in your planning process, think through how you’ll promote your project once it’s live. Lining up pre-launch support gives you a great head start; securing first-day backings can help boost your project’s long-term chance of success.

1.4.2.2. Make a list

1.4.2.2.1. While an exceptional project can find outpourings of support from all over the web, much of your support may still come from people who already know your work.

1.4.2.2.2. Begin by making a list of everyone you plan to reach out to about your project. For example, think of the last 50 people you've emailed or texted—these are likely the people who'll support your project on day one. Collect email addresses, social media handles, and phone numbers in a single place.

1.4.2.2.3. Next, segment your contacts into a few groups—think friends, family, fans, coworkers, and industry contacts—and draft specific messaging for each group. For example, frame your message to friends around specific reward tiers that you think might appeal to them and why.

1.4.2.3. Create a calendar

1.4.2.3.1. Think through your campaign holistically: How will you promote your project pre-launch, on day one, on week two, and beyond? Put together a week-by-week calendar to schedule emails, social media announcements, project updates, and more.

1.4.2.4. Build some buzz

1.4.2.4.1. A week or two before launch, share your project with your community to give them an early heads up. Here are two tools that can help:

1.4.2.5. Announce with a bang

1.4.2.5.1. Once your project is live, let people know!

1.4.2.6. Here are some additional tips for spreading the word:

1.4.2.6.1. Recruit some help. If your goal is ambitious, you might need more than just yourself to get the word out. Tap your collaborators, peers, or pals to help. Draft some simple messaging that your community can easily repurpose when sharing your project with their networks.

1.4.2.6.2. Don’t spam. When you’re in promotional mode, it’s easy to unintentionally come across as a spambot. Try not to overwhelm people with e-blasts and group texts. (Sticking to your outreach calendar can help space out your messaging.) Visit our Community Guidelines for more information on spamming.

1.4.2.7. How to pitch your project to press

1.4.2.7.1. A well-placed piece of press can place your project in the cultural conversation, and help you reach a wider network of people interested in your idea.

1.4.3. Additional resources for promotion:

1.4.3.1. A project promotion pep-talk

1.4.3.2. Before you launch, build a list

1.4.3.3. Ready, set, share your project

1.4.3.4. How to get featured on Kickstarter

1.4.3.5. How to get press for your creative work

1.4.3.6. How to get through your project’s “plateau”

1.4.3.7. A creative person’s guide to thoughtful promotion

1.4.3.8. How to use custom referral tags to track your progress

1.4.3.9. Before you work with a marketing service, consider this

1.4.3.10. How to get press and spread the word about your Kickstarter project

1.5. Communicating with backers

1.5.1. Throughout your project, you’ll be communicating with backers and keeping them informed of your progress. Project updates, your spotlight page, Kickstarter Live, and our messaging system will help you keep backers in the loop.

1.5.1.1. Updates.

1.5.1.1.1. Think of these as your project’s blog. Keep backers engaged through interesting and shareable updates, and encourage them to spread the word about your progress, like this project did. Backers aren’t just looking for updates on when their rewards will show up — most of them love a look at the details of how work like yours is actually made. Show them!

1.5.1.2. Update options.

1.5.1.2.1. You can post text-only updates, or you can include images, video, and even sound clips. (Check these out!) You can mark updates as public or for backers only. Updates can be emailed to all your backers, or just to specific reward tiers. And after an update is posted, you even have 30 minutes to edit it.

1.5.1.3. Messages.

1.5.1.3.1. You can use messages to communicate with backers one-on-one. Remember to check your messages and comments regularly, and respond to any questions. If you find that you’re frequently getting questions about the same topic, consider making it the subject of your next update.

1.5.1.4. Spotlight.

1.5.1.4.1. Once your project is successfully funded, use the Spotlight feature to customize your page, highlight images that show your plans coming together, and direct your audience to where they can see your current work. Looking for inspiration? Visit this page.

1.5.2. Backers appreciate regular, insightful, and honest updates. Don’t be hesitant to communicate delays or changes to your original plans — or to just check in. (If backers don’t hear from you for a while, they worry that you may be having trouble doing the work you promised.) Curious how other creators have approached updating their backers? Here are some of our favorites.

1.6. Fulfillment

1.6.1. Fulfillment: that means completing your project, getting rewards to backers, and communicating with them to make sure the process goes smoothly. Like every other step, this one requires planning and budgeting. But fulfillment can be fun, too, and we’ve got quite a few tools and suggestions to help.

1.6.1.1. The Backer Report & Surveys

1.6.1.1.1. Surveys let you collect information from backers — their shipping addresses, sizes, choices of colors or flavors, or anything else. You can start drafting backer surveys any time after you’ve launched a project, but they can only be sent out once your project is successfully funded. They can also only be sent once — so think through all the questions you’ll need to ask in order to provide rewards, and prepare accordingly.

1.6.1.2. Fulfillment Partners

1.6.1.2.1. If managing all the logistics of your project starts to feel a little overwhelming, or you wind up with more backers than you were prepared for, don’t worry: you don’t need to do everything yourself. There are businesses that specialize in things like mass mailing, warehousing, packaging — you name it. If there’s a part of the process you feel comfortable outsourcing, and you can find a partner you trust, it can help lighten the load and create a better, more efficient experience for you and your backers. With the help of many Kickstarter creators, we’ve compiled this list of services that help with everything from packaging and shipping to manufacturing, games distribution, and vinyl pressing. Check them out and research which partners will work best for your project and your backers.

1.7. Further reading

1.7.1. Resources and links from Kickstarter and beyond!

1.7.2. While Your Project Is Live

1.7.2.1. Tips on running a music project from singer and songwriter Olga Nunes

1.7.2.2. A creator shares how they brought their project from idea to market in five months

1.7.2.3. Hardware startup Senic YC S13 shares how to plan a campaign from start to finish

1.7.3. Spreading the Word and Building Community

1.7.3.1. Download our guide on getting press and spreading the word about your idea

1.7.3.2. Thoughtful promotion advice from graphic novel creator Jason Brubaker

1.7.3.3. Ideas for engaging the tabletop games community

1.7.3.4. Tips on promotion — and some revealing stats — from two successful game campaigns

1.7.4. Beyond the Campaign

1.7.4.1. The awesomeness of not making it

1.7.4.2. Ten creators reflect on what they learned from running a project

1.7.4.3. Prepare for tax season year-round with this Q&A

1.7.5. And more from Kickstarter...

1.7.5.1. Tips from the Kickstarter blog

1.7.5.2. Kickstarter Creator Basics

1.7.5.3. The Kickstarter Tumblr

1.7.5.4. Our list of fulfillment resources for creators

1.7.5.5. The Kickstarter Resources Compendium

1.7.5.6. Our free course on strategic storytelling